Important Kongo power figure – D.R. Congo


Kongo people

A well-known people in Europe since the 15th century, they live in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This old and prestigious kingdom had commercial relationships with Europe during the Renaissance period. The power figures, fétiches (feitiço, Portuguese language), were already known and feared at this time.

Nkisi and Power figures

Now well-known in the corpus of African history, and coming from Central Africa, these are objects charged with mystical forces. The nkisi figure is created by the sculptor and activated by the nganga.

Dogs, as clairvoyant power

Dogs, in Kongo culture, are animals to whom clairvoyant powers were attributed. Their role was to protect the village from the evil spirits.

Our power figure is a sitting dog with its mouth open, watchful, alert, protecting the surrounding area. Soft brown patina, the body is carved gently, with great artistic skill.

Important Kongo power figure – D.R. Congo

20th century – H. 13,75 inches (35 cm) – Wood, iron, glass

Former Paul Gilmain collection, Liège ; Marc Léo Felix collection, Brussels ; Private collection of Chicago ; Former P. Dartevelle collection, Brussels.
Condition report:
Good condition for an object of this type and age.

Editor in chief & Expert

Alain Naoum
African Antique Expert & Dealer

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me


Coryse Mwape Dolin
Art Historian, African Arts


Alisa LaGamma (dir.)- Kongo. Power and Majesty. New Haven/Londen, The Yale University Press, 2015.
Raoul Lehuard.- Art Bakongo. Les Centres de style. Arnouville, Arts d’Afrique Noire, 1989.
T. Phillips (dir.) – Africa. The art of a continent. Munich/New York, Prestel, 1995 (map, p. 230).
Photography Studio Paso Doble.